Listers’ sales and marketing director Sam Weber has been accepted on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, where he and three other crew members will row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, raising money for charity in the process.
Up to 30 boats will race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean in December 2024, in a competition that is expected to last about six weeks.
“It’s billed at the toughest rowing race in the world,” Sam said. “In fact, more people have climbed Everest than they have rowed the Atlantic.”
Sam’s team – Team Seasoar – is raising money for Lymes Disease UK, and the Bay Area Lyme Foundation in California. Team member John Watkins chose the charities after his daughter caught Lymes disease after being bitten by a tick four years ago, and has suffered from the condition since.
Aged just 23, she suffers from severe fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, insomnia, tinnitus, fevers, eye problems, kidney problems, heart palpitations, hypertension, memory issues, headaches, daily nausea, and a compromised immune system, among many other symptoms. This is despite almost two years of failed treatment with antibiotics.
Left untreated, this disease can also cause early-onset arthritis, serious heart problems, facial paralysis, nerve damage, and inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation is the best centre in the world innovating treatment for chronic Lyme disease and is able to put 100% of donor funding into research programmes.
Team Seasoar is responsible for paying the race entry fee (€25,000 per team) but the remainder is all self-funded through sponsorship.
“There are multiple opportunities for sponsorship,” Sam said. “Anything from becoming a bespoke headline sponsor, to smaller packages such as sponsoring our oars or food.
“Whichever package you choose, you will be aligning your business with a powerful message involving risk-taking, entrepreneurship, and team-building.
“We’ve got a great team behind us, and I am confident that we can take on the challenge of the Atlantic!”
Sam is no stranger to extreme challenges. Among his most memorable trips are: climbing Kilimanjaro; learning survival techniques in the Amazon rainforest (which included catching and eating piranhas); and surviving Argentina’s Aconcagua (known locally as ‘the mountain of death’), which has a summit of almost 7,000m. Aside from the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, Sam is also eyeing up a 300km trek across the Canadian wilderness.